Manchester Runway Visitor Park
The team at Cheap Airport Parking took a bit of time out to visit the Manchester Runway Visitor Park, theres more on that in the pink box towards the bottom of this page, but first, here’s the essential info you need if you’re planning a visit...
What is the Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport?
Positioned right next to the runway at Manchester Airport, the Runway Visitor park is accessed separately to the main terminal building areas where you’ll have been if you've ever flown from Manchester Airport.
The Runway Visitor park can be accessed by all and doesn’t require a ticket to fly.
The park is a plane spotters paradise and offers plenty of greenspace where spectators can get right up to the airport perimeter fence to get the best views of the aircraft... maybe even witnessing the arrival or departure of the might A380 jumbo jet!
What is at the Runway Visitor Park?
-Picnic tables and green space, ideal for bringing your own lunch or snacks.
-Raised areas designed to give a superb view of the runways with the benefit of looking over the perimeter fence - ideal for those who are into photography.
-A cafe that provides food and drinks and an indoor area featuring a FlightRadar screen, an arrivals and departures board and perhaps most importantly, plenty of windows looking across the runways in the event of bad weather!
-Various aircraft including the iconic Concorde G-BOAC, Nimrod (ex-RAF spyplane), a DC-10, Avro RJX and a trident aircraft.
-Live commentary of the activity - including interesting facts and things to look out for.
-Kids play area
What does it cost to visit the Runway Visitor Park?
Entering the Runway Visitor park is free and if all you want to do is get up close to the big jets, the only cost involved will be parking, assuming that you’ve parked in the plentiful parking available within the barrier controlled premises. The parking is priced as follows:
£5 up to 2 hour £10 from 2 hours up to 4 hours £12 for all stays over 4 hours
The information above was correct when published on 20/02/23. We'll check on it from time to time.
How do I get to the Runway Visitor Park?
Travelling by car is the easiest way. You’ll need to take Junction 6 from the M56.
To avoid going into lengthy direction instructions, just put ‘Runway Visitor Park’ into your sat nav and if you can’t find that, we’d suggest setting your sat nav to 'The Romper Pub' - if you can find this, you’re less than 0.5 miles away and you’ll notice many signposts for ‘Runway Visitor Park’ - follow them!
By Train or Tram: Go to Manchester Airport Station (same location for both train and tram) and catch a black cab, Uber or Street Car (local taxi firm) to Runway Visitor Park.
Or, walk… assuming you start at Manchester Airport Station, from there you’d need to set about a one hour walk (roughly 2.7 miles).
In the past we’ve done this (we’re mad). It’s actually not too bad as there are footpaths all the way. Whatever you do, don’t end up on the motorway! We’ve included a screenshot from Google Maps to give you a rough idea.
By Taxi from Manchester City centre: By Uber the journey, from The Hilton on Deansgate (consider it Manchester’s main street), the Uber costs around £20-25. Use this as a rough guide. Black cabs will (almost certainly) cost more!
What time does the A380 Leave and Arrive at Manchester Airport?
The A380 service connects Manchester Airport with Dubai.
The A380 arrives at Manchester airport at:
06:45 (EK021), 11:15 (EK017) and 18:40 (EK019)
The A380 departs Manchester airport at:
08:50, 13:10 and 20:40
Remember, the two best (conveniently accessible) places to see the aircraft are The Airport Pub and The Runway Visitor Park. Check opening times of both before you set off!
We spent about an hour watching various aircraft taxi around the airport, take to the skies and land. It was great because the planes were arriving on the runway closest to the park and departing from the more distant (but still clearly visible) runway at the far side of the field.
On the Saturday we visited, we were lucky enough to benefit from commentary which was broadcast over a tannoy system from a spectators box, pictured below (this is a weekend thing only).
This made our visit more interesting as we were given a little bit of information about the passing aircraft including a few little fact nuggets, such as the fact that a flight operated by Logan Air is longest UK domestic service, clocking in at 900 miles, stopping twice (one of those stops being Manchester) and ultimately travelling from Newquay to Shetland. Who knew?
The icing on the cake for us was witnessing the A380 arrive. The sense of occasion was heightened by the growing crowd numbers… clearly people turn up especially for this arrival and when the plane landed, it was easy to understand what the fuss was about. Go and see it!
The picture below shows the moment the giant jumbo taxied past the Visitor Park - moments after this photo was taken about 70% of the people disappeared. There’s definitely a feeling that the day has peaked at this point and no amount of Ryanair and Easyjet planes equal the moment.
We’ve put a bit of information above on arrival and departure times of the A380 at Manchester Airport.
We didn’t have tickets booked to take a look at concorde, although we had previously attended a musical event under the wings of the aircraft, more info here - We were stuck for Christmas present ideas and this seemed more interesting than another Afternoon Tea...
Other than the Airport Pub which is located at the other end of the runway (also brilliant), this is the only official place we know of where you can get a good view of the planes at Manchester Airport without actually visiting the main airport. We’d love to go back and will certainly book a tour of concorde in the near future.